Anyway, David writes on all sorts of interesting things for the Mises Institute, a libertarian think tank, and is the definitive biographer for the late libertarian philosopher Murray Rothbard, whose primer on natural law I excerpted here.
In David's review of Rothbard's An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Volume 1, Economic Thought Before Adam Smith here, of course my favorite part was this:
The pitting of 'tradition' vs. 'modernity' is largely an artificial antithesis. 'Moderns' like Locke or perhaps even Hobbes may have been individualists and 'right-thinkers', but they were also steeped in scholasticism and natural law. (p. 314)
Exactamundo, Murray and David. Although Locke is claimed for the Enlightenment, a more apt description of him is as capping off an even longer natural law tradition that begins with the classical Greeks, finds its feet with the Roman Stoics, runs through the Christian medieval philosophers, and at last finds fruition in the American Founding.
What is "modern" is a whole different sack of bananas, and starting with the French revolution, its fruits to date have been a mixed bag at best.
Murray Rothbard is a thinker I find fascinating, if only for his apparent contradictions---an atheist, a libertarian, yet still a "Thomist," that is, one who follows in Aquinas' tradition. I recommend Gordon's essay, Rothbard's Last Triumph, Part One and Part Two for an introduction to Rothbard's thought. Among his targets: Aristotle; the Whig theory of history; Adam Smith; Hegel; and most amusingly, as Gordon points out, John Stuart Mill:
John Stuart was the quintessence of soft rather than hardcore, a woolly minded man of mush in striking contrast to his steel-edged father.… John Mill's enormous popularity and stature in the British intellectual world was partially due to his very mush-headedness. (p. 277)
Rothbard is delicious. Follow the links and enjoy, and most of all, learn how we should never take anyone's authority when it comes to philosophy, a book where the ink never dries.